Healthy Ways to Approach Your Child’s Weight

Healthy Ways to Approach Your Child’s Weight

As a parent, it is important to make sure that your child is maintaining a healthy weight. If you think your child may be too thin or that they may be overweight, it can be a serious concern. As a worried parent, it may be your first inclination to step in and try to fix the problem yourself. This is particularly common in parents who have struggled with their own weight problems in the past.

However, as any expert will tell you, it is essential that you take the right approach when handling this issue. Many parents often have good intentions in helping “fix” their child’s weight issues, but parents often make mistakes that can not only leave lasting effects on a child’s self-esteem but make their current weight problem worse. With this in mind, here are a few tips to consider when approaching your child’s weight.

  1. Focus on your child’s health first. If you are worried about your child’s weight, then your goal should be to keep the focus on their health, not only on the numbers on the scale. If you think your child’s weight is an issue, their health should be your number one priority.
  2. Don’t automatically jump to conclusions. You may be worried about your child’s weight, but you don’t want to jump to conclusions too quickly and assume there is a problem. The only way to know for sure is to talk to your child’s pediatrician and figure out what a normal weight for your child should be. This is particularly important for girls, who tend to gain weight first before they grow in height.
  3. Remember that kids are sensitive. Most parents know that kids can be quite sensitive, but weight tends to be a particularly delicate topic for many kids. There is a great deal of research, particularly on young girls and how what their parents say about their weight effects them. Do your best to not comment about your child’s weight in regards to their appearance. What you think may be an encouraging comment or even a compliment, can be perceived the wrong way.
  4. Make getting healthy a family effort. One of the best ways to make sure that your child maintains a healthy weight is to make sure that the entire family is living a healthy lifestyle. With children, many times their issues come from a larger family issue. Being healthier as a family can be simple—plan, cook, shop and eat healthy, regular family meals together. It isn’t only good for your child, but for the whole family.
  5. Set an example. Children need good role models. One of the best ways to make sure that your child has a healthy relationship with their weight is to model your own health relationship with your weight in a positive light. It is so important to set a great example for your child. Something as small as calling yourself “fat” or worrying about your appearance too much can have a negative impact on your child, without you even realizing it.

The experts here at Continuum Pediatrics can help answer all of your questions about healthy weight management for your child. If you want to schedule an appointment with us to learn more, give our office a call at 817-617-8600.